Caterer and Hotelkeeper 100: Patrick Harbour and Nathan Jones, Harbour Jones

01 July 2011
Caterer and Hotelkeeper 100: Patrick Harbour and Nathan Jones, Harbour Jones

Overall ranking: 80 (ranked 86 in 2010)

Contract catering ranking: 10 (ranked 9 in 2010)

Patrick Harbour and Nathan Jones - Snapshot

Harbour & Jones, the caterer founded in 2004 by Patrick Harbour and Nathan Jones, now has 540 staff and expects to achieve turnover in the region of £25m this year. The caterer has achieved its original aim of being a multi-strand business with contracts in the business and industry, concessions and events space. In a productive year since their appearance in the Caterersearch 100 in 2010 the high-end caterer has added Global Radio, investment bank Close Brothers, Yell Group, Aegis Media and BDP (Building Design Partnership) as clients. Adding to its St Paul's Cathedral deal the caterer will shortly be opening an eco restaurant at the Bishops Palace in Wells.

Patrick Harbour and Nathan Jones - Career guide

Patrick Harbour was mixing with royalty between 1988 and 1990 as food and beverage director at the palaces of King Hussain in Jordan. He returned to the UK in May 1990 to take up the role of managing director at Leith's, which was bought by Compass Group during his nine-year tenure.

In November 1999 Harbour took on a new challenge as managing director of Charters, the fine-dining division of Sutcliffe (owned by Granada and later to merge with Compass). From January 2001 Harbour was managing director, London, of Houston & Church, later to become known as Wilson Storey Halliday (WSH) after a merger in 2001 with the company of the same name. It was while here that he met Nathan Jones, who was sales director and with WSH from 1999 to 2003.

Jones had joined WSH after a five-year stint on the consultancy side at Principal Catering Consultants, where, as director of business development, he was responsible for £6m of turnover and 30 contracts in the business and industry, education and concession markets.

Previously, from 1991 to 1994, Jones had been assistant area manager at CCG Services, helping to manage food service standards across 30 client sites.

Patrick Harbour and Nathan Jones - What we think

This is a perfect double act: Harbour's boundless enthusiasm and ability to sell is balanced by Jones's organisation and commitment to making the numbers work. Together they have hit on a successful formula of being innovative while adding an impressive number of clients, giving the business enough resources to develop further, retain and offer opportunities to some of its best staff - Harbour & Jones has recruited several former employees of the larger caterers.

The recipe has proved popular, and the caterer, which has been defined by its relaxed culture since creation, has begun beefing up its senior management team - with the promotion of Gary McKechnie to director of food last year and the creation of a director of concessions role taken on by James Cornwall Walker (ex Company of Cooks) this year - showing there's no lack of ambition.

The past year has also seen investment in a central production kitchen in West London to provide services to a "large British fashion house" amongst other clients, as well as the launch of a standalone website supporting the party and venue side of the business.

For any worried it will lose its quirkiness, the decision to open a pub in collaboration with the Henry Moore Foundation earlier this year should put paid to that, and Chicheley Hall, a residential centre for the Royal Society, has seen Harbour & Jones delivering hotel services.

Patrick Harbour and Nathan Jones' ranking in the 2010 100 >>

Harbour & Jones wins £4.5m deal at lawyers Cameron McKenna >>

Harbour & Jones to cater for Financial Services Authority >>

Harbour & Jones website >>

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